Who do you become when you have nothing left to lose? There is something Poe Blythe, the seventeen-year-old captain of the Outpost's last mining ship, wants far more than the gold they tear from the Serpentine River. Revenge.
Poe has vowed to annihilate the river raiders who robbed her of everything two years ago. But as she navigates the treacherous waters of the Serpentine and realizes there might be a traitor among her crew, she must also reckon with who she has become, who she wants to be, and the ways love can change and shape you. Even - and especially - when you think all is lost.
Ally Condie is a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband, three sons and one daughter outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar.
i love a story based on revenge. i also love a story with a nautical theme. but, unfortunately, i did not love this.
i just found this to be lacking in several areas. the world building is missing, the character development is lazy, theres very little foundation for the ‘romance,’ and there is no supportive purpose or motivation for the plot.
im going to be VERY generous and round up because i do like the concept in theory and im obsessed with the cover. but the execution just leaves soooo much (basically everything, tbh) to be desired.
I really ended up enjoying this book. I went into this book without a whole lot of expectations. I think that I might have read one of the author's earlier books years ago but don't remember a whole lot about it. The premise sounded really interesting so I was excited to give the story a try and was surprised by how quickly I was hooked by this adventurous tale. I thought that this was just a whole lot of fun.
Most of this book takes place on a ship used to dredge the river for gold. The book opens on Poe's first voyage where things take a horrible turn and the man she loves is killed. Poe is determined to make sure that nothing like that can ever happen again and designs armor that will cover the ships for all future voyages.
Poe is put in command of the newest voyage which is the first time she has been out since tragedy struck. It was really interesting to be in Poe's head as she worked to establish her position of leadership while being unsure if all of the members of her crew are trustworthy. When things go wrong, she becomes even more suspicious of the others working on the ship.
I loved the fact that this book had plenty of action. There are some fairly violent scenes that had me holding my breath and worrying about the characters. Poe had a hard time trying to figure out who could be trusted and which crew members had their own agenda. I liked that Poe became a true leader because of her actions and that she was willing to take stand even if it came with a lot of risks. Poe was a great character and I thought that the key secondary characters were very well done.
I would recommend this book to others. I found this book to be very well done with an interesting world, great characters, and an adventurous story. While I thought that this book stood perfectly fine on its own, I do think that there could be a possibility of future books featuring this world or group of characters in the future. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
I received a review copy of this book from Dutton Books for Young Readers via Bookish First.
Initial Thoughts I really liked this book. It was different which I liked and I thought that the world it was set in was pretty unique. I liked Poe and understood why she had a hard time trusting others but appreciated the fact that she was willing to listen. There was plenty of excitement that kept the pages turning.
2,5* - this had a lot of potential, the premise was very interesting. Unfortunately I had absolutely zero connection to the characters which lead to me not caring about what was happening most of the time.
This is such a unique dystopian in that it feels like a pirate theme mixed with western vibes. This follows Poe on her journey for revenge against the Raiders after they kill her boyfriend. She creates a weapon out of the ships meant to mine gold for their colony in the walls. When the Admiral gives her a ship to captain, Poe isn't sure what his end game is, and finds herself in a whole new position she isn't sure how to navigate. Poe goes in fairly cold-hearted and paranoid, and for good reason when a traitor has made themselves known in her crew. From there, this is action packed and fast paced, with events happening back to back. This was a quick read because of how fast paced it is and the never ending twists throughout the plot. I liked seeing the world outside of Poe's compound but also liked the back story we get with her town. I wish there had been more information about how the world ended up in the state that it was, but I guess that will forever be a mystery. There is mystery around every turn as well. We don't know what all the gold is for, we don't know why this crew was hand picked, we don't know who the traitor is (BOTH times), and we don't know the end game until it is time. I loved trying to guess the different twists and who was who, which was an unexpected part of the story. My biggest problem with this was that there was little character growth. We don't really get much from the side characters, and not enough to ever really connect to them or love them. We get glimpses into their personality, but never really making them a full-fleshed out character. Poe goes through nearly no development for being pushed into a world and rule she is unfamiliar with. Her paranoia never leaves and becomes annoying at times. She isn't very likable because she always feels distant and cold. Even at the end, it felt too convenient for her thoughts to sway so easily from one thing to the next when she had been so dead-set on one idea for most her life. This is definitely a plot-driven story, which may be why I didn't absolutely love it. It was a fun read though and I mostly enjoyed the pacing of it.
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe is one of those books that sneaks up on you. Its strong in a silent sort of way, stringing you along page after page until you realize, near the end, that the story is more powerful than you could have ever imagined it to be. It's a desperate story of survival and touching in its own sort of feral and savage way. It shows us that living is more than just waking the following day and going about our routines.
The story focuses primarily on Poe Blythe, her story of revenge and seeking her own form of survival - through some of the most barbaric means. From the very first chapter, this book will pull at your heart strings. I felt such a fierce pull toward this story from just that first chapter, which does a superb job of setting the stage for the rest of the book.
In addition to Poe's story, Condie has created a fascinating dystopian world that I would absolutely read more of. I loved every aspect we were given, from Poe's settlement, to the river mining to how those outside the settlement live. It is clear that Condie put her heart into every aspect of creating this story.
Additionally, there is a huge mystery subplot - as Poe tries to discover who on her team can be trusted and who is seeking every opportunity to betray her trust. I did NOT see those plot twists coming and by the end I couldn't help but to think, "I wish this wasn't a standalone!" Seriously, I would read the next chapter in this story immediately.
Overall, this book is so incredibly underrated and deserves all of the praise, word-of-mouth and readership. I loved every underlying theme, particularly how one can find a path, a place they belong, even after everything has been ripped away from them. The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe is a must read new release, with fantastic crossover appeal and will absolutely be one of my favorite reads of the 2019.
Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of a Bookish First giveaway. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book.
Buddy Read with the Magical Rendz from the always amazing Reading with Rendz!
This book was....not what I wanted. I haven't had the best experiences with Condie's writing before, but this book sounded so interesting and not like anything that I had read before in YA, so I was reayd to give it a try. When Rendz and I first started talking about the buddy read, I really only remember two buzzwords - revenge and gold - and honestly that was enough for me.
The buzzwords were pretty true. This book is about gold, revenge, and a ship. I think it also tries to take on colonization a bit, but I feel like everything kind of got lost besides the revenge and the ship and gold. Seriously, everything revolved around it, and not much was particular interesting. The story focuses on the last voyage that the people from The Outpost (a confusingly vague settlement that I still don't fully understand - but that's the entirety of the world). It does focus on Poe's emotional journey dealing with the death of her love, Cal, who was murdered by a group that lives outside The Outpost that constantly fights with Poe's peeps over who owns the gold.
Reasons I Will Not Be Signing Up for the Last or Basically Any Voyage of Poe Blythe:
- Poe. I think Rendz said this best when we were reading: Poe was being Poe. And that's honestly all the ways I can describe her. She is definitely a special girl. She somehow has some vision that magically creates this super confusing armor (that took Rendz and I a really long time to create a picture but think porcupine ship and we good), captains her own ship/crew literally the SECOND time she even gets on a boat, and somehow knows exactly what to do? Her characterization was solely on her desire for revenge and love for her ship, which I thought was interesting, but it got real old real fast once there was literally nothing else.
- The other characters. Rendz and I both agreed that the rest of the characters didn't have much personality. They were just very much there. Last year, I read Seafire by Natalie C. Parker that featured an all female crew on a pirate ship. There was a lot of them, but they were each dynamic, colorful, and distinct. This crew? I couldn't pick any of them out of a lineup, because they were stick figures in the background - eh, I think they actually might have been more hazy than that. They just existed and were names on the pages.
There was also a lot of potential for a character that is the villain, and like IDK the villains were pointless. They just faded into the background, and then the big reveal/motivation at the end CAME OUT OF LITERAL NOWHERE. And it made no sense???? Speaking of which, that ending was so vauge, and just...it was weird and confusing and IDK.
- The pacing. The first half was pretty slow, and it took a long way to warm up. Rendz and I both agreed that we enjoyed just how fast paced the second half went especially in regards to the shorter chapters and speed up of the action. It still lacked the tension and drama needed for it, but at least it went by so fast. So actually, this was an item that I did like - except I had to go through the slow part first.
The writing was pretty straight to the point and easy to read, so that was good. And there were a few interesting things, but that was about it. The one crown that I'm giving it isn't a "this was all sorts of terrible" or "i hated it with a fiery passion" but instead a one crown rating due to the strong disconnection I felt for it and how bored I was. Rendz ended up with just under a 3 star rating. (Is anyone surprised that I, book hipster, got lower in the buddy read???) 1 crown and a Merida rating!
A dystopian pirate-y story? With this cover--yet another beauty that holds more meaning than meets the eye? And a Goodreads friend liked it and said it’s slightly connected to Matched? Sign me up. :D
Ally Condie has proven time and again to be a fantastic author, so you can imagine my excitement when this arrived at the library. :D
I ate up the worldbuilding. The raiders had AMAZING and beautiful technology, and I liked how the Outpost had a mix of and new, i.e. solar panels and cogs and gears. It was really easy to picture everything, and I found this world a little more developed than some other dystopians I’ve read, probably because of the travel. ;)
The characters--even down to the villain--were fantasticly dimensional and complicated. Which was especially cool since this had a very Agatha Christie-like mystery going on and it was nearly impossible to figure out who the traitor was. Even when the mystery was “solved”, there was a whole nuther layer. Tam (cinnamon roll), Porter (wow), and Brig (hmmm) were my favorite side characters for sure, even if they weren’t exactly on the right side of things.
And then there’s Poe. I honestly expected her to be my least favorite thing about the book. (I’m frankly quite tired of assassin/pirate/tush-kicking girls whose entire personalities consist of anger, anger, and more anger with toughness just for the sake of it. Like, that’s not even a character.) Poe was not one of those. (Trust this author to do dimensional.) I found her to be the very definition of “stuck between a rock and a hard place”. A believable survivor who had done things, some hard and some very wrong, to stay alive. And while she had a lot of vengeance in her heart, I loved watching her grow in empathy, adjust with each piece of new information as the mystery unraveled, and work to save others even if she was really clumsy at it sometimes. And while it could have been stronger, the message of forgiveness and learning to heal was definitely there. ;)
Other cool things included super cool nautical stuff and a very understated, highly respectful and mostly non-physically-focused romance. Happy sigh. <3 (*cries at the sweetness of the ruler scene*) Also, THAT connection to Matched. :D
Just a note, this book was a bit more violent than some others by this author. A lot was implied or “offscreen”, but there were some detailed descriptions of Also, there were a couple of teenage kisses and six uses of the “d” word and a couple of “h” throughout.
Best quote: It’s easier to kill than to save. It’s easier to imagine a new world than to take care of the one you’ve got.
Altogether, this was a satisfying read. I just might need to get myself a copy. ;)
Anmerkung: Ich habe das Buch als Rezensionsexemplar vom Verlag bekommen. Danke dafür. Die volle Videorezension findet ihr auf meinem YouTube Kanal namens schokigirl.
Meinung: Pro Argumente: 1. Die Idee war wirklich toll. Ich wollte gerne die Geschichte einer jungen Schiffskapitänen auf einem Goldgräberschiff lesen, die während der Fahrt zu sich selbst findet. Das Cover hat schon eine schöne Atmosphäre dafür erschaffen. 2. Der Schreibstil war okay. Es lässt sich leicht lesen.
Kontra Argumente: 1. Leider waren die Charaktere zu flach. Sie hatten keinen wirklichen Charakter, sondern nur eine Eigenschaft oder Vorliebe, die immer wieder wiederholt wurde. Da ich sie also gar nicht kennen und einschätzen konnte, kam jede Handlung aus heiterem Himmel. 2. Die einzige, die einen Ansatz eines Charakters hatte, war die Protagonistin Romy. Trotzdem hat sie so schnell ihre Meinung geändert, dass ich nicht hinterher kam. Außerdem war sie nicht nur um einiges jünger, als die meisten Crew Mitglieder, sondern auch hart und gemein. Trotzdem fanden sie die meisten ganz toll. Es hat sich sogar jemand in sie verliebt und alles für sie getan, was ich überhaupt nicht nachvollziehen konnte. 3. Wo war denn die Weltbildung? Das hatte mich am meisten interessiert, aber ich weiß nach dem lesen fast genauso wenig wie vorher. Also nichts! Es wird was von Kolonien erwähnt, aber mehr weiß ich nicht. Ich weiß ja nicht mal, wie dieses Schiff eigentlich aussehen soll. 4. Gefühlt passiert die gesamte Handlung in ca. einer Woche und das erschien mir einfach zu kurz. 5. Leider habe ich mich sehr schnell gelangweilt, weil es mich nicht mehr interessierte was passiert.
Fazit: Ich war sehr gespannt auf diese Geschichte, da mir die Idee gefallen hat. Aber leider hat der Inhalt nicht abliefern können. Es hatte so viele Dinge, die nicht zu ende gedacht waren, dass es mich schnell nicht mehr interessiert hat. Wäre es kein Rezensionsexemplar gewesen, dann hätte ich es sicher abgebrochen. Daher habe ich 2 Sterne vergeben.
First, I have to say I absolutely loved the Matched trilogy and Atlantia by Ally Condie. I've been a fan of her work for a long time. So, that being said, The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe is my least favorite of all. It's not a bad story. The Mark Twain steampunk vibe is truly unique for a dystopian story. I have never read anything like this world. The main character is indeed cold and calculating with a specific goal in mind. I understand her motivation for wanting to exact revenge on those who so justly deserve it. Poe is a sympathetic character who is also very determined and possibly slightly obsessed with revenge to the point where she is blinded by it. My main problem is that my attention kept drifting off. Something was lacking for me ,and I'm not exactly sure what. Still, it's a clever and original story for readers to enjoy.
ehhhhhhhh so like, years ago I enjoyed Ally Condie's Matched trilogy more than I expected to--it sounded like a pretty flat, bland dystopia, and it was--but the writing was lovely and I cared about the characters enough for me to overlook the flat worldbuilding. This book doesn't.....have that for me. I never got invested enough in Poe for me to overlook basic-shit like what the fuck happened that a 17-year-old with no particular training is this world's best inventor?? It seems like it's a harsh world where life expectancy is short but like,
Also like, in-world the characters are confused about why the Admiral wants gold but IMO the explanation never added up. Also the technology didn't add up. Like they have these fancy boats but like, no phones or radio? Radio is old, why doesn't your dystopia have radio communication at least, except for plot reasons. JUSTIFY YOUR LACK OF RADIO TO ME, ALLY.
Also seems like everyone in this dystopia is straight and white, for no particular reason.
I wasn't that fond of Condie's Matched trilogy so I was pleasantly surprised by this book.
I liked Poe and her character development as she struggles through grief and a need for revenge on the raiders who murdered Call- her growth made her a stronger character as she navigates her way without Call. Additionally, I liked her character flaws- she was paranoid, reckless and sometimes let her emotions dictate her decisions but she was relatable because the reality is that she's a lost 17-year-old girl trying to way in the world which Condie does a great job portraying (although she was a bit wishy-washy about where her loyalty stood which I found to be kind of annoying and repetitious at times).
The plot was good but it felt like it dragged on in some areas. The execution of the climax was well-written and was definitely a character-defining moment in Poe's character arc. The world building is there and felt very much like an extension of the Matched post-apocalyptical dystopian world. Matched fans will be pleased with the Matched references and Easter eggs sprinkled in. I also liked how the romance was there but as a subplot and didn't focus too much on it that it took away from the plot. Condie's writing was superb and the theme about finding yourself after a life-altering event/tragedy was dealt with perfectly (it felt like the book was just a giant metaphor really). The ending though... it's so open-ended and seems to be primed for the beginnings of a potential sequel.
*Thank you Penguin Teen and its publishers for providing a free arc.*
I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t love it. The plot is a bit slower, but it holds you. The main character is complicated but most of the other characters aren’t as flushed out as they should be. The setting is amazing for one book but prob deserves an extra book to really allow us to understand the world. So it’s a solid 3
I'm not sure how I felt about this one. It is a huge tonal change from the Matched trilogy, which is both good and bad. The book is very focused on Poe's grief and her quest for revenge, which means the reader knows and understands Poe very well. Unfortunately, this focus means that the development of the other characters and the world building both suffered. I also didn't quite understand Poe's change of heart in the last third or so of the book. It seemed more necessary to the story Condie was telling than a natural character progression. (It almost felt like there were scenes or passages missing in which the reader could see Poe slowly learning to trust people she once considered the enemy. Instead, it went from her questioning everything she had been told and though she knew to full-on trust in the blink of an eye. And yet, it was a compelling read that was also an emotionally-impactful examination of one young girl's grief. It's not perfect and some of its flaws are, indeed, rather large, but they are mostly things than can be remedied if this is a series, as its ending implies it could be.
This one is unlike anything I've ever read before. I so love Poe. She's so angry and vengeful and powerful and smart and the armor she made to protect the ship is something she wears herself. You can almost see how sharp and bristly she is as she cuts the people around her. Such an excellent character. Hope there's more coming!
Overall, I thought this book was okay. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad. I like the story of it and the character progressions, but Poe’s obsession with revenge and Call was a bit unnerving. It was the biggest part of her personality and I wasn’t a fan of that. Besides her only motivations being revenge, her character change felt off. It wasn’t a sudden change, but it felt like there should have been more motivation for her to want to change her mind.
Another thing I found odd was the ending. It felt forced to me and I’m still trying to understand why they made this decision. Poe kinda gives an explanation as to what she is doing, but the other characters just seem to follow her around and do whatever she does.
Overall, it was okay. I liked the story as a whole but I had some issues with characters and parts of the plot. A definite 3 stars from me.
Am călătorit în spațiu, am descoperit ținuturile magice ale zânelor, am străbătut străzile orașelor din realitatea zilelor noastre… iar acum a venit momentul să mă îmbarc la bordul navei lui Poe Blythe, o eroină hotărâtă să conducă și să se răzbune pe cei care i-au furat tot ce avea mai de preț: iubirea. Și, vai, ce mai aventură am avut! Hoinari, trădători, pericole la tot pasul și misiuni importante – cartea aceasta a avut toatele ingredientele necesare pentru a fi intitulată o utopie de succes, numai bună pentru adolescenții și tinerii în căutare de o peripeție tumultoasă!
To be honest, I'm not sure if I actually liked this book or not. I've been trying to think on it for a few days before I wrote this review, but it's still a mystery to me. I had read Condie's Matched series and found it to be a solid series, so I was familiar with the author's writing going in. But there was something about this book that just felt a little...lacking...to me? It's really hard to put my finger on but I'm going to try.
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe is a story about love, revenge, and gold. And not in that particular order either. Our MC, Poe, lives in a world where she's under the rule of some guy just called the Admiral. And the Admiral is obsessed with gold. So obsessed that he has the rivers surrounding their colony mined constantly. It's on one of these mining expeditions that Poe loses someone very close to her. This is where the revenge starts. And throughout the rest of the book, all Poe can think about is getting revenge for her love and punishing the raiders who took him.
So let's talk characters. First, there's obviously Poe who to me was very one-dimensional. I get that she lost someone close to her and she's hurting, but that is pretty much the only thing we know about her for this entire book. There's no feelings or emotions or growth in this character and that made it really frustrating to read. I wanted to like her because it seemed like she knew what she wanted and was smart - but I quickly learned that this wasn't the case. She was led by one thing only and that was rage - yet for someone who had a lot of rage, she was very passive and blank. She let people just move her around like a piece on a chess board. I just couldn't get into her at all.
Then there were the handful of side characters who honestly all kind of blended together. We knew Tam was a cook and Brig was a uniform man and Naomi was an elderly lady who Poe knew from before. But that was literally all. Oh there was also a map maker person who's name I can't remember at the moment. Sadly, they really did nothing for the entire book. The only side characters I found interesting were the few raiders we got to know towards the end.
Which leads me to plot. It was interesting. A brave new world type of thing. And I really liked the idea of settlers kind of at war over resources and some revenge thrown in. But the plot was sort of waylaid by the lack of world building. I spent so much time questioning everything that most of the plot just got lost. I feel like this book could have been more rounded out by some more history about the colonies and the Admiral himself. Also, when the reasoning for why the Admiral wanted the gold was revealed seemed like a let down. Why? Because nothing was still being explained! This book was so full of vague descriptions and vague histories that it almost became a 'write your own story' book with all the assumptions us readers had to make. And to top it off, none of the villain reveals were surprising. You know what would have been surprising?
And don't get me started on that vague as hell ending.
So why three stars? Mostly because two felt too low for me. Like I said in the beginning of this review, the premise was really interesting and seemed different from what I had been reading recently. It just wasn't executed fully. And also, I really liked the raiders and the dynamic they brought to the story. Now their plight would be something worth reading. I felt they held the entire story, not the other way around.
Thank you to Penguin Teen for an ARC of this book.
In a future dystopian world, we follow Poe Blythe who after failing a ship mission for gold was able to save herself and her crew by coming up with the deadliest armor yet for the next ship. Now Poe sails for the first time since as first time captain of The Lily and she’s ready to avenge the death of her loved one Call.
I found this book to be fine. The story was easy to understand and follow. I was interested in the bigger society group dynamics. My faults lie with the details of such - there wasn’t enough politics substance for me here. I wanted to get into the nitty gritty of this dystopian world but it all felt pretty surface level.
Similarly, the individual dynamics between our cast of characters - while reading i was excited and wanted to get to know more. But i was left with not enough to be satisfied.
It’s a good book, but it just didn’t have anything in particular that really WOWED me
I really enjoyed this unique dystopian revenge story! It feels like it's set in a western gold rush era but with big metal machines! Poe's character was really fascinating because she's different than what we usually see from female MC's in these kinds of books. She's very cold and direct for most of the book which I found really interesting. When she finds out that what she's been told isn't true she starts to question everything. She barely knows who to trust.
I got to hear Ally speak about what it was like to write a character like Poe and that it was actually really difficult and once I got into this story, and realized how non-emotional Poe can be, I totally understood why she'd be hard to write.
I did end up wanting more by the end and knowing this is a standalone made me a bit sad. It is such a creative and interesting world with characters who keep you guessing. I really enjoyed it.
Poe Blythe was 15 years old and on a voyage set out for mining gold in a river. One of the crew members was her childhood friend who later became her lover. He was murdered and she's been on revenge mode ever since. Two years go by in which she mastered creating deadly weapons attached to the mining ships of her people. After she has proven herself capable enough, she earned the title of captain of the last voyage at the age of 17.
For some reason I couldn't like Poe and that's a problem when you don't care enough about the main character of the book. I don't want to be the cold-hearted bitch but I'm bound to be in this case. Her whining about Call (her dead lover) was so irritating. Every time she just said "Call" I either wanted to throw the book against a wall or throw up. Her mistrust of people around her is validated given what happened to Call, but still it got on my nerves. Sometimes she has a monologue going on in her head and people almost always seem to read her mind and answer her unuttered questions.
I loved the length of the chapters which was ideal to my taste. The author made decent efforts in the writing style and I actually liked it in general (except whining Poe), although something was always lacking with the world building. The dystopian setting was just out there and had no distinct features or comprehensible history. I would've liked the book more had the author invested in detailing the Outpost and its surroundings, and more on how they ended up in such a place to begin with. It appeared to me that the population is very small with a leader and a few councilors. All we get to know is that there are two groups of people who are not fans of one another. A group is called 'settlers' and the other is called 'raiders' by their enemies but they call themselves 'drifters'. They all live in a featureless ruined land that has rivers with gold which is the reason behind their ongoing dispute. That's it.
Most of the books I rate with 3 stars are when I love the concept but I don't like the execution of the idea so much, but still I liked the book in general just enough to keep me interested to know how it ends. The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie was a typical 3 stars for me. I adore the simple cover design with its subtle golden specks, and the print / line spacing of the version I have is so easy on the eyes.
Hmmmm.....where to start? This book made me soooo happy! Full of action light romance and a heroine that’s not annoying. Ally Condie blew me away with her creativity and characters. Also the ability to make a reader cry like a baby. 😂 It’s an easy read and if I didn’t have life to deal with I would have finished that book in an hour! I highly recommend this book for people who like, dystopian, heartbreak, action, the game CLUE, light romance, page turners, and a horrible ending!
Seriously though, the ending was horrible.....in a good and bad kind of way. I really need a second book, because the ending didn’t feel like it should be the ending. I thought I would turn the page to find another chapter, but nope! I got the three pages of Acknowledgments! It’s the kind of book you have to set down at times and just stare at it. Cause what else are you supposed to do? I also feel like there a quite a few holes.....I NEED ANSWERS! Anyways, y’all probably know by now that I rate books based off of creativity, character development, and basically if it gave me any strong emotions. This did it all! However, I have to give it four stars, which is still pretty high.
I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FOR AGES: 14+
WARNING, This book contains the following: Mild Romance, Light Profanity, and Violence.
The last quarter was mildly action-packed, but overall this book just wasn't at all exciting. The plot didn't feel high-stakes so I was never really invested in the story. Poe was complex in that her feelings of grief/revenge made her kind of dark, but that's been done so many times in other books and has been done so much better by other authors that, to me, she wasn't an interesting or unique protagonist. Not to mention that her thought processes seemed to change out of nowhere and for no particular reason. None of the other characters were at all fleshed out or complex: I hardly knew anything about anyone aside from their names. The last section of the book had the potential to somewhat redeem the plot, but everything felt glossed over and rushed. This book, in my opinion, needed much more than 320 pages to feel like a full story.
"THAT is the magic, the alchemy: the primitive, deep-seated element that is in you--that IS you--while you live, and which leaves the moment you die. You can't get it back. Nothing can buy it. No amount of tears will ever call it home."
. . . may I just take this moment to observe, Ally Condie is scarily good at writing about death.
As for the rest: this is a very intriguing, steampunk-ish, dystopian adventure starring an unapologetic anti-heroine whom you nevertheless want to root for??? I recommend it, although it gets a bit violent. Battles an' all.
4 Stars // 84% A beautiful, touching story that sings about more than just pirates and gold. The theme of love, life, and self-discovery amid loss will leave you in awe. The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe is a story like no other.
"But do you still live on, if someone you loved, someone who loves you, goes on to live their own dreams? I think so. I think you live on best that way. You are in my heart when it soars. In my hands when they make something new. In my breath when I run. And someday, even that will be gone. You will be deep in my blood and bones, part of me, but I will have moved past you. Even as I carry you with me, I will have left you behind." (324)
I wish I had realized this was a book about grief before the last page, because this quote really hit home. I wish Ally Condie let Poe explore grief authentically in this turbulent world rather than try to make this a classic YA action book with traitor and love subplots. This book kept my interest, but it also felt disengious and a little shallow. I never felt like I got to know Poe or Call or Brig and instead felt like I was watching an action movie--cool world, cool hijinks, no depth in the characters. Wah wah.